Ebola not an international ‘health emergency’ but risks spreading across DR Congo border, warns UN health agency

World Bank/Vincent Tremeau Health workers put their Personal Protective Equipment on before entering the zone where people suspected of having Ebola are held in quarantine to be monitored and treated at the Ebola Transition Centre, January 2019.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) “does not constitute a public health emergency of international concern”, according to a statement issued on Friday by the World Health Organization (WHO).

But acknowledging the potential risk that the disease may spread to neighbouring countries, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, expressed on behalf of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee, “deep concern” over a recent surge in the transmission of the virus in specific areas, namely North Kivu and Ituri provinces, both of which are heavily populated by armed groups.

Latest data indicates a total of 1,206 confirmed and probable cases of Ebola in this latest deadly outbreak in DRC which began last August, while 764 people have died up to last Wednesday, making the oubreak – which is endemic in the DRC – the worst in the country’s history. The numbers spiked this week, with 20 new cases on Wednesday alone.

Up to the end of March, more than 320 patients had recovered and been discharged from treatment centres, according to the Government’s health ministry.

Because there is a very high risk of regional spread, the Committee said that neighbouring countries should continue to accelerate preparedness and surveillance, including vaccinating healthcare and front-line workers in surrounding countries.

The Emergency Committee recommended that cross-border collaboration be strengthened, including through the timely sharing of Ebola data and alerts; community engagement, and awareness raising.

Moreover, work should be done to better map population movements and understand the community networks which bridge national boundaries. The Committee maintained its previous advice that no international travel or trade restrictions should be applied.

While exit screening, including at airports, ports, and land crossings, is of great importance, entry screening is not considered beneficia, said the committee, appealing for more financial support, to strengthen efforts in both preparedness and response.

The Committee commended efforts of the Government, WHO and other partners in containing the outbreak “in a complex and difficult setting” and advised the WHO Director-General “to continue to monitor the situation closely and reconvene the Emergency Committee as needed”.

 

Emergency Committee for Ebola Virus Disease in the DRC advises:

  • Redoubling efforts to detect cases early, identify and follow up all contacts, and administer vaccinations as widely as possible.
  • Sustaining efforts to prevent transmission and shorten the time between onset and care.
  • Addressing the rise in cases in the remaining epicentres, notably Butembo, Katwa, Vuhovi, and Mandima.
  • All partners to identify, target, and scale up community dialogue and participation, engagement of traditional healers, and other community engagement tactics to strengthen and broaden community acceptance.
  • Prioritizing the safety of responders, while avoiding the securitization of the response.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Greece and Ukraine main items on EU28 menu; the course is set

Guterres condemns killing of Bangladeshi peacekeeper in South Sudan, during armed attack on UN convoy

A day in the life of a refugee: We should be someone who helps

Is the EU competent enough to fight human smuggling in 2015?

‘Collective amnesia’ over causes of global financial crash – human rights expert

In Rome you can swap plastic bottles for metro tickets

Africa is creating its own Great Wall – and it’s green

Innovation can transform the way we solve the world’s water challenges

Why we must reimagine capacity building to strengthen education after COVID-19

Murder of Brazilian indigenous leader a ‘worrying symptom’ of land invasion

Bioethics: how to recover trust in the doctor-patient relationship

Cyber attacks are shutting down countries, cities and companies. Here’s how to stop them

European Commission and World Bank Group renew agreement to strengthen development cooperation

People talk less now than during the Cold War, says Merkel at Davos

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Press Freedom Day, Tuna Day, cultural dialogue, #GlobalGoals awards, updates on Syria, Somalia, Mali

The European giant tourism sector in constant growth

Media freedom: EP warns of attempts to silence critics and undermine pluralism

European Parliament calls on Russia to end occupation of Georgian territories

Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021 over coronavirus concerns

Draghi: printing a full extra trillion non negotiable to help all borrow cheaply

Here are 3 ways venture capital can fund a better future

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

Ending harmful fisheries subsidies would improve the health of our ocean. This is why

‘Never give up’: UN chief urges all who serve, marking UN Day

Council Presidency: Floundering with the EU 2014 budget

Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council: Commission presents Action Plan for immediate measures to support Greece

Could this electric ferry’s success herald an era of greener shipping?

FROM THE FIELD: Keeping Morocco’s indigenous culture and conservation in balance

What empty homes and hipster coffee shops tell us about globalization

RescEU: MEPs vote to upgrade EU civil protection capacity

To achieve the Great Reset, we will need more than just the actions of the powerful

EU budget 2022: Speeding up Europe’s recovery and progressing towards a green, digital and resilient future

This Norwegian cruise line plans to power its ships with rotting fish

COVID-19 will accelerate the revolution in energy systems

Be your all to give your all

German egotistic inward turn to badly hurt Europe after Merkel’s exit

Nearly two-thirds of children lack access to welfare safety net, risking ‘vicious cycle of poverty’

How sustainable infrastructure can help us fight climate change

The secret to ending war? It’s too easy: more women in peace negotiations

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Conserve Italia for participation in canned vegetables cartel

Is the EU’s enlargement over-stretched?

Yemen parties underscore ‘strong desire’ for peace, UN Envoy reports

EU: The Member States to pay for national banking problems

Youth Parliament to finalise millennials´ priorities for future of the EU

Opening – EP remembers Nelson Mandela and mourns attacks on Roma in Ukraine

Juncker and Tusk killed Greece on 07 July 2015 to meet the Commission’s summer vacation plan? #Grexit #Greferendum #Graccident

Mexico must increase foreign bribery enforcement: full implementation of anti-corruption reforms could help

The US calls off globalization, targets Germany. Paris offer to Berlin comes at a cost

Apple Vs. EU: Will the US tech giant ever pay for taking advantage of Ireland’s taxation?

Poorer countries set to be ‘increasingly dependent’ on food imports, says UN food agency report

Service and Sacrifice: Ugandan ‘Blue Helmets’ support UN efforts to bring peace to Somalia

Palliative care: so, how do we want to die?

French Prime Minister passes Stability Program and takes his ‘café’ in Brussels this June

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

China is adding a London-sized electric bus fleet every five weeks

Memoirs from a unique trip to China: “my new old dragon” (Part I)

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

It’s time to move: 5 ways we can upgrade our SDG navigation systems

vSudan: UN chief calls for ‘positive momentum’ as civilian rule talks stall between military and opposition

UN chief welcomes prisoner exchange between the Russia and Ukraine

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s